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Afghan Army Says Regains Full Control Of Helmand Province

Afghan officials say the army has regained full control of the last of four districts of southern Helmand Province that were attacked in a major Taliban offensive last week.

In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL, Suliman Shah, the district chief of Sangin district in Helmand Province, said on June 30 that all parts of the district are back under government control.

Three other districts -- Nowzad, Kajaki, and Musa Qala -- have already been cleared of militants.

Casualty figures are difficult to independently verify.

The four districts came under attack after the Taliban on June 20 launched an offensive along the northern arc of the Helmand River to retake territory recently vacated by U.S. troops and handed over to the control of Afghan government security forces.

Afghan government officials estimate more than 800 militants took part in the assault.

More than 2,000 families fled the fighting.